Springfield, IL - The Republican National Convention ended with a celebration of the "Land of Greatness." Illinois Republicans chose to wrap their week of events by highlighting two members in highly contested races - Congressman Rodney Davis and Esther Joy King.
Both Republicans take a lot of pride in their regions of the state. They also note President Donald Trump won in Illinois' 13th and 17th districts in 2016.
"As the Illinois 17th, we feed and fuel the country, if not the world," said King. "And that is greatness, and it all starts right here in the Illinois 17th."
The Moline native is running against incumbent Rep. Cheri Bustos, who also chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
King and Davis say Democrats are ripping America apart with their rhetoric. While President Trump is normally the politician called out for controversial statements, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the President and other Republicans "domestic enemies of the state" for plans to block voting.
"I know I can tell you that type of rhetoric is what led a crazed gunman to come fire at me and my friends a few years ago on a baseball field. And it's that type of rhetoric that I've been standing up saying we can't have," Davis explained.
The Taylorville native says Democrats should focus more on leadership in their own communities to prevent violence. "We cannot have Democratic leaders who are willing to close down their own street to protect themselves and their family and not protect the families in the rest of the cities that they run. Leadership matters."
Davis faces a familiar candidate in the 13th Congressional District. Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan narrowly lost to Davis during her first campaign in 2018.
Rebuilding the economy
Meanwhile, King feels the country needs to move beyond the COVID-19 pandemic and get people back to work safely. She emphasized Trump's economy was thriving before the pandemic. Looking ahead, King claims Joe Biden will only raise taxes and hurt small business owners if elected.
"That is not going to help grow the economy and get us back to a place where we had historic growth," King added. "I absolutely believe that President Trump is the man for the job to get us back up and running economically."